New leader vows to work with our towns

Cllr Ross wants to hear from lo­cals on im­por­tant is­sues

Rutherglen Reformer - - Community Ties - Dou­glas Dickie

New South La­nark­shire Coun­cil leader John Ross has vowed to tackle the is­sues that are im­por­tant to com­mu­ni­ties in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

Dur­ing an ex­clu­sive chat with the Re­former, Coun­cil­lor Ross said he was aware of is­sues such as house build­ing out­strip­ping the cre­ation of ameni­ties and con­cerns about the fu­ture of Cam­bus­lang town cen­tre.

Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil pub­lished a sur­vey ear­lier this year re­veal­ing is­sues on the Main Street, while Half­way Com­mu­nity Coun­cil have cam­paigned for a new secondary school to cope with the in­creased pop­u­la­tion.

He said: “Over the county as a whole we have a duty to ex­pand the housing sit­u­a­tion.

“The last ad­min­is­tra­tion had plans to build 600 houses then at the last bud­get said they would be look­ing at 1,000 houses.

“We would need to, over the whole county, build sub­stan­tially more than that to have our share of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment tar­get of 50,000 houses over the next five years. But I un­der­stand there are prob­lems in the Cam­bus­lang area.

“I will be talk­ing to the local coun­cil­lors in Cam­bus­lang and we will be rais­ing all the local is­sues to try and bring some­thing sen­si­ble for­ward, so you can as­sure your read­ers that these is­sues will be looked at.”

On town cen­tres, he added: “We are very, very big on the idea of re­gen­er­at­ing the town cen­tres.

“At the same time we should be en­gen­der­ing a mix of both housing, shops and com­mu­nity projects to bring peo­ple back into our town cen­tres and that’s some­thing we have al­ready started work on as far as the Hamil­ton town cen­tre is con­cerned.

“We will be look­ing at all the town cen­tres, not just Hamil­ton, as a mat­ter of ur­gency.” The SNP formed a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion at Al­mada Street fol­low­ing last month’s Scot­tish local elec­tions.

Their man­i­festo in­cluded a pledge to al­lo­cate one per­cent of coun­cil bud­get to each ward and Coun­cil­lor Ross re­vealed this could amount to £200,000 each year for the four local wards.

In­sist­ing that local peo­ple will make the de­ci­sions on where the money goes, he added: “We would like to see the area com­mit­tees take a lead in this par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing be­cause we need to have a frame­work in or­der to have the best use of that money com­ing back to each ward.

“This will take a bit of time to set this frame­work up but the idea is that we need to get local peo­ple in­volved, heav­ily, in how we go about do­ing some­thing for each area.

“It’s a lot of money and we can do an aw­ful lot with it, but we need to make sure that the proper set up and struc­tures are in place.”

Read the full in­ter­view in next week’s pa­per.

Get­ting to work Coun­cil­lor John Ross is the new leader of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil

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